NetAffinity a full service hotel marketing agency, recently published an Infographic titled "Hotel Marketing Trends for 2014" of which they identified new ways to think about online hotel marketing efforts as you move ahead this year.
Today's blog will focus on two major sectors of their compiled work, 1) How search methods will change and 2) How mobile devices can help increase group bookings at hotels.
Trend #1: No more keyword searches
According to NetAffinity, by the end of the first quarter this year, Google will encrypt 100% of keyword searches. This means organic keyword data your hotel marketing staff has spend so much time gathering and incorporating in your digital platforms is no longer useful when it comes to your ranking.
Trend #2: There will be an explosion of travel meta-search websites
Meta-search, if you are unfamiliar with the term, is a search tool that sends user requests to several other search engines and aggregates the results into a single list. They enable users to enter search criteria once and access several search engines simultaneously.
According to Eye for Travel, these sites are posed for expansive use this year.
Trend #3: Semantic searches will grow in use
Semantic search is the ability of a search engine to determine what you mean when you search for something and provide you with results that don't necessarily match the words you used in your search query. This aligns part and parcel with Google's Hummingbird.
Trend #4: Google Carousel will be an important component for hotel search
When you search Google for hotels, you’ll see an interactive “carousel” of local results at the top of the page.
Type “hotels in San Diego” or try any similar search for hotels. Click on one of the places in the carousel to get more details on it, including its overall review-based score, address and photos. If you don't have G+ page yet or Google Local presence, now is the time to make that happen.
Trend #5: Google+ will be a must
Whether you like it or not, G+ will play a significant role in searches this year especially with their integration of Carousel, Local and Now. A personal G+ profile for your company, as well as, individual profiles for all your employees can help boost your ranking through the process of collaborative content creation.
Trend #6: Google Analytics will go deep
Analytics has improved, but it still can't help you with keyword searches, of which it was known for a few years back.
However, I like Google Trends because you can insert a variety of search terms and it will bring up the trending data over the last 10 years, as well as, related topics and queries.
Trend #7: Want to Increase Group Bookings at a Hotel? Think mobile
According to Travel Daily News, 50% of direct online bookings will be made via mobile devices by 2017. Make sure your website and booking engine is optimized for all mobile platforms.
Trend #8: Bookings will occur across screen technologies
This will be the year where guests will start and end their booking cycle on a variety of technologies. For example, they might narrow down the top three hotels to stay at in Chicago on their desktop, but actually book their reservation on a tablet or smartphone.
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